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IELTS study planner

IELTS Study Planner is brought to you by the British Council, the world's English teaching experts. It is a recommended study plan that we hope you follow in the next month to make sure you are ready to take IELTS. Our plan will guide you to a range of free IELTS study materials and resources, as well as suggest activities you can do to improve your English skills. It is our hope that the planner will get you acquainted with the test format and also improve your confidence when writing, speaking, reading and listening in English. 

Please note, the IELTS Study Planner is intended to be used as a guideline only. Use the self-check boxes to tick whether or not you have completed the activities listed. Many of you will have different needs and priorities, based on factors such as general English language ability and time available to study. Feel free to adapt the planner to best suit your needs, for example, by spending more time focusing on the skills that you are weaker in, or practicing a different skill each day. 

And remember, for most of you, your IELTS preparation began a long time ago when you first started to learn English! 

We hope you enjoy using the Study Planner. 

Day Activity
1

Week 1 (Focus: Listening)

Day Activity
2
  • Go to IELTS.org and learn everything you can about the listening section (format, timing, task types, how it’s marked).
  • Go to IELTS.org and look at some of the listening sample questions. 
  • Go to Dialang and find out your English proficiency level in listening.
3
  • What are the key listening skills being tested in IELTS? Go to Voices Magazine and read ‘Five essential listening skills for English learners’.
  • Download the LearnEnglish Audio and Video app and practice listening to different podcasts & videos on a wide range of topics. 
  • Watch an English-language movie/TV show from an English-speaking country that isn’t the U.K. or U.S.A. Can you full understand the accent?
4
  • What should you do before you hear the test recording? Have a read of some helpful advice in the ‘Exams’ section of LearnEnglishTeens.
  • Watch an English language movies/TV show with subtitles in English. Remove the subtitles once you start feeling confident. 
  • Try to do some listening where there are no visual clues (e.g. ChinaPlus Radio), as this mirrors the listening in the IELTS test. 
5
  • What should you do during the test recording? Have a read of some helpful advice in the ‘Exams’ section of LearnEnglishTeens.
  • Watch/listen to a sports match (that you are familiar with) with English commentary.
  • Listen to some English songs and try to write down the lyrics that you hear.  Use the internet to see if you were correct.
6
  • What should you do after you hear the test recording? Have a read of some helpful advice in the ‘Exams’ section of LearnEnglishTeens.
  • Watch a TED talk online, and choose a topic that may appear in IELTS, i.e. environment, education, health, etc. Try and identify how stress, intonation, pauses, and repetition are used for emphasis in the talk. 
7
  • Go to the ‘Skills’ section of LearnEnglishTeens, and attempt some of the free listening activities at your level. 
  • Go online (e.g. download the British Museum Guide app) and listen to a virtual tour of a famous museum or landmark in English. 
  • Watch another TED talk online. When you are listening to the talk, pause the recording and try to predict what will come next. 
8
  • Go to IELTS.org and test yourself with some of the listening samples!
  • Compare your responses to the correct answers. Where did you earn most marks? Where did you have misunderstandings?
  • Listen again to the listening samples. Can you hear the correct answer now? 

 Week 2 (Focus: Writing)

Day Activity
9
  • Go to IELTS.org and learn everything you can about the writing section (format, timing, task types).
  • Go to IELTS.org and look at some of the writing sample questions. 
  • Go to Dialang and find out your English proficiency level in writing.
10
  • Go to ChinaIELTS and download the writing assessment criteria. Pay attention to the descriptors ONE LEVEL above your current level. 
  • If you are not sure what each of the four assessment criteria means, watch the short videos at ChinaIELTS in the ‘band descriptors’ section. 
  • Read a news story online (e.g. the Mirror), and make use of the comments section where you can write your opinions about the story. 
11
  • What are some things you should do before you start writing in a test? Read about planning time in the ‘Exams’ section of LearnEnglishTeens.
  • Download the IELTS Word Ready app to help with your vocabulary learning for academic writing. 
  • Start writing a blog. You can write about your interests, ideas, wishes, humour and anything else you think about… in English!  
12
  • What do you need to consider when you’re writing in a test? Read about writing time in the ‘Exams’ section of LearnEnglishTeens.
  • Download the LearnEnglish Grammar app to help with your grammatical ability for academic writing. 
  • Find a Website containing statistical data (e.g. Statista), choose a table, graph or pie chart and write a short description of it. 
13
  • What should you do after you’ve finished writing in a test? Read about reviewing time in the ‘Exams’ section of LearnEnglishTeens.
  • Choose an article in a newspaper and write a persuasive essay about the topic, using some ideas and content from the original article. 
  • Look back at your old written work. Circle any words/grammatical structures that are simple/repetitive, and replace with stronger ones. 
14
  • Go to the ‘Skills’ section of LearnEnglishTeens and attempt some of the writing activities at your level. 
  • Practice free writing: write about any topic for 5 mins. Do not stop to read what you are writing, and you’ll notice that your writing will become more fluent over time. 
  • Send phone messages in English to friends who are learning English. 
15
  • Go to IELTS.org and test yourself with some of the writing samples!
  • Self-assessment: Look at the band descriptors and check if you have included everything you need to at your desired level. 
  • Peer-assessment: Ask a friend to evaluate your task answers, using the band descriptors OR a specific language area you’d like to focus on.

Week 3 (Focus: Speaking)

Day Activity
16
  • Go to IELTS.org and learn everything you can about the speaking section (format, timing, task types).
  • Go to IELTS.org and look at some of the speaking sample questions. 
  • Go to FutureLearn and sign up to ‘Understanding IELTS: Speaking course’ (open Mar 16th).
17
  • Go to ChinaIELTS and download the speaking assessment criteria. Pay attention to the descriptors ONE LEVEL above your current level. 
  • If you are not sure what each of the four assessment criteria means, watch the short videos at ChinaIELTS in the ‘band descriptors’ section. 
  • Download the new IELTS Smart Learning app, practice speaking Tasks 1 & 2, and receive feedback on your speaking! 
18
  • What communication strategies can you use in the test? Have a look at some in the ‘Exams’ section of LearnEnglishTeens.
  • Download the IELTS Word Power app to help with your vocabulary when speaking. 
  • Start an audio journal: practice speaking on a certain topic for 2 mins each day and record it with your phone. Listen and evaluate yourself.  
19
  • How can you become more accurate and fluent when speaking English? Read some advice in the ‘Exams’ section of LearnEnglishTeens.
  • With a friend who is also learning English, choose a topic that interests you and send each other voice messages in English about it. 
  • Find an international language partner on an established language-exchange Website like italki to help you practice English. 
20
  • Need some tips on how to answer common tasks in a typical speaking test? Go to ‘Exams’ section of LearnEnglishTeens and find out. 
  • Create your own vlog (on a topic that interests you) and share with your friends; encourage them to give feedback on your language. 
  • Watch a recent movie and note down any idiomatic language that you hear; try and include this language in your everyday spoken English.
21
  • Go to the ‘Skills’ section of LearnEnglishTeens and attempt some of the free speaking activities at your level. 
  • If you cannot find an (online) conversation club/English corner to join in your university/city, create one yourself today! 
  • Choose a scene from a movie you like and try to copy the actor’s speech. Pay close attention to their pronunciation and try to copy it. 
22
  • Go to IELTS.org and record your answers to some speaking samples! 
  • Self-assessment: Look at the band descriptors and check if your recorded answers include everything you need to at your target level. 
  • Peer-assessment: Ask a friend to evaluate your task answers, using the band descriptors OR a specific language area you’d like to focus on.

Week 4 (Focus: Reading)

Day Activity
23
  • Go to IELTS.org and learn everything you can about the reading section (format, timing, task types, how it’s marked).
  • Go to IELTS.org and look at some of the reading sample questions.
  • Go to FutureLearn and sign up to ‘Understanding IELTS: Reading course’ (open Mar 16th). 
24
  • Do you have problems with your reading speed? Go to Voices Magazine and read ‘How to help English learners read more quickly’.
  • Go to Dialang and find out your English proficiency level in reading.
  • Read graded readers (texts which are graded to your level) Visit your local bookstore to find English stories at different reading levels.
25
  • What should you do before you start reading in a test? Have a look at some helpful advice in the ‘Exams’ section of LearnEnglishTeens.
  • Change your social media, computer settings, phone settings, email settings to English. 
  • Cook a meal with an English language recipe. You can find some recipes at GoodFood
26
  • What should you do while you are reading in a test? Have a look at some helpful advice in the ‘Exams’ section of LearnEnglishTeens.
  • Go online and find an English language magazine, blog, or newspaper that interests you (but you have never read before) and start reading it.
  • Read an article from a newspaper (e.g. ChinaDaily), and try to write a short summary of it by identifying the key points.
27
  • Need some tips on how to answer common task types in a reading test? Go to ‘Exams’ section of LearnEnglishTeens and find out. 
  • When reading a text, start choosing words/phrases that you think are important and which you want to learn, and store them in a notebook. 
  • Choose one article from a newspaper, and note down the words and expressions that are used to link the paragraphs/or ideas in the article
28
  • Go to the ‘Skills’ section of LearnEnglishTeens and attempt some of the free reading activities at your level. 
  • Start reading a book in English which you have already read in your native language or has been made into a film which you have seen.
  • Set up a reading club with friends. One member chooses something for everyone to read and it’s discussed in the next meeting. 
29
  • Go to IELTS.org and test yourself with some of the reading samples! 
  • Compare your responses to the correct answers. Where did you earn most marks? Where did you have misunderstandings?
  • Read the sample text again. Can you find all the correct answers now? 

Week 5

Day Activity
30
  • Take a practice IELTS test under timed conditions. 
  • Compare your responses to the correct answers. Where did you earn most marks? Where did you have misunderstandings? For speaking & writing, ask a teacher from your school to evaluate your responses based on the band descriptors. 
  • Look back at your answers/responses. What would you do differently if you took the test again? Write a short summary. 
31
  • For some last minute test advice, go to CambridgeEnglish, download the IELTS FAQs, and read them carefully. 
  • Go to ChinaIELTS and watch some of the ‘Killing IELTS Rumours’ videos. 
  • Review some of the more useful resources in this study planner. 
  • Put the study books down, have a nice meal and get a good night’s rest. Good luck on your test! 

 

Websites: 

https://ielts.neea.cn (for information concerning registration procedures) 

https://www.chinaielts.org

https://www.ielts.org

https://takeielts.britishcouncil.org

https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org

https://learnenglishteens.britishcouncil.org

https://www.britishcouncil.org/voices-magazine

https://www.futurelearn.com/programs/understanding-ielts

https://ij.changyan.cn/download-app/home

https://cdielts.gelielts.cn

https://dialangweb.lancaster.ac.uk

https://www.cambridgeenglish.org/exams-and-tests/ielts

https://www.ted.com/talks

https://www.italki.com

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes

http://chinaplus.cri.cn

https://www.mirror.co.uk

https://www.statista.com/chartoftheday

https://www.chinadaily.com.cn